How Pet Food is Regulated - Nutrition

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How Pet Food is Regulated
This section is part of Pet Food

Pet food in developed countries is regulated at every stage, from the ingredients used, through the production process and through to marketing and sales. Much of the legislation applies to pet food in the same way as it does to other product categories like, for instance, human food. Often more specific regulations cover both farm feed and pet food with specific legal provisions that are only applicable to pet food.

Additionally, the pet food industry within a country can be self-regulated through a series of industry Codes or Guidelines that provide detailed rules for practical implementation of legislation or establish rules in fields that are not regulated by law.

The objectives of legislation and self-regulation are to ensure that pet food products fulfil the nutritional need of pets, are safe for both animals and people, and that the information to consumers is accurate and truthful. Wherever pet food is manufactured, it has to meet legal requirements established by the country or region in which it is sold.

The following sections describe the way pet food is regulated in the European Union and in the United States. Pet food provisions also exist in many other countries around the world.


Section Content:

Regulation of Pet Food in Europe
Regulation of Pet Food in the USA
Pet Food Industry Associations
Dog and Cat Nutritional Guidelines


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Educational Brief
Underpinning much of what pet owners find difficult to understand (e.g., pet food labels, manufacturing practices, types of pet foods available) is closely related to how the pet food industry is regulated. For example, what is and is not allowed to be stated on a pet food label is mandated by regulatory agencies. This is the reason much of what is on a pet food label is not inherently easy to understand by pet owners and veterinary professionals alike. Other aspects of pet foods such as the ingredients used, how they are declared, tested and marketed are also related to regulation. In this section, aspects of pet food industry subject to regulation are clarified and should provide veterinary professionals with the information they require to explain issues pet owners have about pet food.
By Professor Dan Chan



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